Right Hon. J. G. Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture):
Mr. Speaker, as recently
announced in parliament, the federal government has agreed to establish a floor price on cattle until the United States embargo on Canadian cattle and beef shipments is removed. This price, until July, will be on the basis of $25 per hundredweight for good steers at Toronto, Montreal and Moncton; $23.35 at Winnipeg; $22.80 at Saskatoon; $22.55 at Edmonton and Calgary, and $23.40 at Vancouver. At the beginning of June a floor price for the month of July will be announced, and at the beginning of each month thereafter the floor price for the next month will be announced in order that the producer may know what the floor price on his cattle will be for the next two months.
In 1951 Canada exported about 400,000 head of cattle, either as cattle or beef, for which no outside market is at present available although it is hoped that domestic consumption will increase with the lower consumer prices for beef. If the market is oversupplied, it means the price to producers will remain at the floor. With the fixing of a floor price, it will be possible for the producer to market his cattle in an orderly manner with only finished cattle reaching the market, and if this is done the producer may expect to continue to sell all his cattle without undue market gluts, and may from time to time receive prices higher than the floor.
There are various reasons why it will be in the best interests of the cattle industry to delay the marketing of cattle while the
United States embargo is still in effect, and attention is drawn specifically to the following:
1. When the American embargo is lifted, that market will again be available.
2. Orderly marketing will relieve market congestion and undue pressure on prices received by farmers.
3. The establishment of a floor price means the producer will always be in a position to obtain a minimum price for the particular grade of animals which he has to market until such time as the United States embargo is lifted. It is possible that the extra feeding, with the resulting weight gain, may improve the grade and therefore increase returns to the producer.
4. During the pasture season, cattle make their most economical gains on grass, and this is available on most farms and also in community pastures in western Canada.
Subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT OF FLOOR PRICES ON CATTLE